The British Society for the History of Science Prize for Exhibits on the History of Science or Medicine 2012

 The BSHS Outreach and Education Committee is pleased to announce its second ‘Great Exhibitions’ competition, kindly funded by the B.Gee bequest. The 2010 competition was won by Museo Galileo in Florence, with the Thackray Museum in Leeds taking second place for their exhibition “How William Astbury’s X-Ray Vision Changed the World”. A pdf version of the competition poster is available for download in small and large versions.


The competition is open for any public exhibition that deals with the history of science or the history of medicine. Entries are welcome from institutions in any country and exhibits may be permanent or temporary. Eligible exhibits must use artefacts or places of some kind and this may include buildings or locations, pictures, instruments, objects and books. Web-exhibits are not eligible for the prize. The closing date is 1st September 2012 and exhibits should still be available for viewing until the end of November 2012. There will be two prizes of £300, one for large and one for small exhibitions. The winning exhibit will be the subject of a special feature in the BSHS’s Viewpoint magazine.


The main criterion for judging this prize is the audience’s experience and therefore the judges will consider:

  1. Clarity – is the purpose or aim of this exhibit clear? Has it clearly identified what it wants to tell the audience about the history of science or medicine? Is it easy to follow?
  2. Design – is the exhibit attractive and engaging? What makes this exhibit stand out from other exhibits?
  3. Learning – what sort of story does this exhibit tell about the history of science or medicine? Does it cater for its intended audience well? How accessible is the exhibit to a range of different audiences?
  4. Originality – does the exhibit avoid cliché? Does it present the audience with something new? Does it challenge preconceptions?


Please submit an entrance form [Word doc] and supporting materials by 1st September 2012 to [email protected] or Dr Sabine Clarke, History Department, Vanbrugh College, University of York, Heslington York YO10 5DD, United Kingdom. Supporting materials can either be up to 8 photographs of the exhibition or a 5 minute video. Whenever possible the judges shall visit the exhibition or nominate a member of the Society to do so. Any further queries should be addressed to [email protected].